Coming soon: advanced LaTeX for grants
Ok, so as usual, people seem to assume I'm stupid, but actually what I'm trying to do is pretty advanced.
Am learning the ins and outs of floatflt vs. wrapfig. Suffice it to say, I am kind of astounded there isn't something already out there that explains how to handle a document with lots of figures and subsections. At the moment, our workaround is to make the subsections in boldface, e.g. \bf rather than \subsection, because that tricks the figure management packages into letting you insert figures where you would otherwise get errors, or worse, no figure inserted at all...
Gotta say, this has been pretty frustrating, but I feel like I'm learning a lot, and not just about LaTeX. I'm finding that my long-standing fears of programming mostly stem from my need for explicit, literal instructions and precise definitions for everything. Which is to say, calling things by their correct names, with the correct syntax... but I also tend to get lost when there are too many finer points. For example, WHY??? did the person who wrote wrapfig decide that curly brackets are better than square ones, when floatflt uses square brackets FOR THE EXACT SAME OPTION?? e.g:
I am still not accustomed enough to looking at squinched up little piles of brackets to immediately spot the differences there. And the error messages I'm getting are not polite enough to just say, "Uh, excuse me, m'am? You used the wrong bracket thar."
Anyway it's bringing back all kinds of memories of taking the one or two programming courses I managed to survive in school, and why I didn't go further with programming... I think it mostly comes back to total lack of communication skills.
So that is my theory for the day: why there aren't more women in computer science = TOTAL LACK OF COMMUNICATION SKILLS on the part of the people writing computer science textbooks and teaching classes. Now, I'm sure there must be somebody out there who could teach me tons of programming languages in no time flat, but I doubt there are very many. If one of them could please teleport to my office RIGHT NOW, that would be great.